An Ordinary Person

Public Equals Online | March 17, 2010

I got an email from the Sunlight Foundation notifying me about an important new legislation that concerns government transparency and which has far-reaching effects if implemented, the Public Online Information Act. This legislation has such a wide scope and significant implications for bloggers, citizen journalists, activists, and engaged citizens who care about quality, timely information from the government that I am blogging about it to spread the word.

In the age of the Internet, government is transparent only when public information is available online. The Public Online Information Act (POIA) is legislation that embraces a new formula for transparency: public equals online. No longer will antiquated government disclosure practices bury public information in out-of-the-way offices and in outmoded formats.

POIA requires Executive Branch agencies to publish all publicly available information on the Internet in a timely fashion and in user-friendly formats. It also creates an advisory committee to help develop government-wide Internet publication policies.

  • POIA empowers government oversight and accountability by citizens, media, and government officials alike.
  • POIA promotes intra-governmental coordination by bringing key players together to develop common standards for information transmission, streamline government data collection practices, and increase the sharing of information vital to our citizens.
  • POIA contributes to economic growth by helping small and large business innovate, create jobs, and compete globally.

Read The Bill

Summary of POIA

POIA in plain language

Orgs. call for hearings

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